Born in 1945, Anselm Kiefer’s attitude is heavily influenced by World War II and the role the Third Reich played in the destruction of a people and a continent. Kiefer creativity arises from his dissatisfied with post-war culture and Germany’s reluctance to discuss their wartime atrocities. He started his career in 1969 with a photographic series called Occupations, which featured him saluting in full Nazi garb, a criminal offense in Germany.
The theme of many paintings is death and decay; many paintings are fiery and dark, have heavy use of German and Jewish mythology, and appear damp and moldy. His technique of layering paint and using additional materials, such as straw and lead, lend the paintings much depth and texture. The paintings are quite large, often on 9×12′ canvases.
But art should be full of intriguing questions such as this. Art really is something very difficult. It is difficult to make, and it is sometimes difficult for the viewer to understand. It is difficult to work out what is art and what is not art. All this can be hard work.
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